A potential bout between Chris Algieri and WBO welterweight beltholder Manny Pacquiao is “very close” to becoming a reality for a Nov. 22 HBO Pay-Per-View main event at the Venetian Casino in Macau, where Pacquiao unanimously decisioned Brandon Rios last November.
Following discussions earlier in the day, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, as well as Banner Promotion’s Artie Pelullo and Algieri’s promoter Joe DeGuardia, informed RingTV.com on Wednesday evening of their progress on making Pacaquiao-Algieri. The newly-crowned WBO junior welterweight titleholder is coming off a dramatic split-decision victory that dethroned Ruslan Provodnikov last month.
“Yes, we’re real close,” said DeGuardia, who characterized Algieri’s career-high purse for the bout as a seven-figure offer from Arum. “I think that we’re days, maybe hours from getting this done.”
Arum and Pelullo spoke at Arum’s vacation home in Los Angeles on Wednesday, with DeGuardia communicating by telephone.
“We’re talking. Artie was over at the house this afternoon. We had a nice discussion, and I’ve talked to Joe. We’re working toward making the fight, but it’s not done yet,” said Arum of a potential bout between the 5-foot-10 Algieri and the nearly 5-7 Pacquiao.
“Algieri’s taller and he has the potential and the talent to give Pacquiao a really, really good contest. I think that he’s a great boxer, and that he’s very, very adept and very athletic.”
Pelullo, the promoter of Provodnikov, said that he has three options on Algieri as part of the deal for the HBO-televised fight with DeGuardia, Algeri’s promoter.
“We talked about it today, and I’m leaving tomorrow on the redeye, and hopefully, we will know something tomorrow,” said Pelullo. “We’re getting close to finalizing the deal, but it’s not done yet.”
A 30-year-old resident of Huntington, Long Island, N.Y., Algieri (20-0, 8 knockouts) rose from two first-round knockdown, endured a bloody nose and overcame a right eye that was nearly closed shut against Provodnikov (23-3, 16 KOs) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
“I think that this is a dangerous fight for Pacquiao, which is the same exact thing that I said when he was fighting Ruslan. I would venture to say that we’re looking at a similar situation here,” said DeGuardia. “I’m looking forward to making the fight, and, hopefully, we can get this done. I think that it will be a really interesting promotion and a really interesting fight.”
The 35-year-old Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs) was last in action in April, dethroning Tim Bradley by unanimous decision to regain the belt he lost by split-decision to Bradley in June 2012.
Between the first bout with Bradley and the Rios fight, Pacquiao was stopped in the sixth round in December 2012 by Juan Manuel Marquez, against whom Pacquiao is 2-1-1.
“As far as the dynamics of this fight, if you really study the game, you might say, ‘You know what? This fight is a dangerous fight for Pacquiao,’” said DeGuardia.
“This kid is tall, rangy, with a good jab and he’s a kid who throws a lot of fast types of punches, sort of the way that Pacquiao’s punches are, which is a lot of volume and multiple punches. We have a situation where if this kid can out-hustle Manny, then he can give him problems.”
A former kick boxing champion, Algieri is a clinical nutritionist who works with private clients, has a bachelor’s degree in healthcare science from Stony Brook University and a master’s degree from the New York Institute of Technology.
What does Arum think of those who are critical of Pacquiao-Algieri?
“Who gives a s–t about the detractors, and who cares what they’re missing,” said Arum. “I just know that it’s going to be a good fight, and that we’ll put on a good fight, and this kid is a breath of fresh air for the sport of boxing.”
PROVODNIKOV VS. RIOS-DIEGO CHAVES WINNER?
Pelullo said that he and Arum also discussed matching Provodnikov with the winner of an Aug. 2 welterweight battle between Rios and Diego Chaves that is scheduled for the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on HBO.
“That’s something that we also talked about. Bob absolutely liked that idea, and he was in favor of it — the winner of Rios-Chaves versus Provodnikov. I’m going to go out to the Cosmopolitan for the Aug. 2 fight,” said Pellullo.
“I spoke to Bob, today, about the winner fighting Provodnkiov, and he liked that idea. I asked him, ‘Do you have other plans for the winner?’ because, otherwise, I don’t want to go down this road, and he said, ‘No.’”